His Lordship Bishop David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Archdiocese, officially opened St. Jude Chapel at Kwetu Home of Peace on October 7th., 2020.
Signifying new beginnings
Named under the patronage of St. Jude of Thaddeus, the Kwetu Home of Peace Chapel has signified new beginnings for the former street boys at the Home. The newly built chapel is an enduring landmark amidst the growing Kwetu home of Peace boys' population. It shall serve as an outreach tool while providing comfort to hundreds of former street boys who live at KHP.
The new St. Jude Chapel is central to the boys living at Kwetu Home of Peace. The Chapel was officially opened on October 7th, 2020, and blessed by His Lordship Bishop David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Archdiocese. Pinned next to the administration block, it imbues a sense of stillness, calm, strength, and hope for the children at Kwetu Home of Peace.
The Chapel span a (10 by 5) m2 footprint. A cream-coated wall encases the white ceramic tiles and glazed building, allowing a soft dappled light to filter through into the internal space throughout the day. This atmospheric effect, combined with a warm interior palette, creates a golden, heavenly hue, enveloping both staff and children as they participate in various worship services and ceremonial, social, and cultural events.
"It is more than a building"
'The new Chapel is a focal point for our Kwetu Home of Peace community. We're delighted that the design incorporates elements of Christian history in a contemporary form. I'm sure St Jude Chapel will be a wonderful place for Kwetu boys to meet and worship together,' said Bishop David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Archdiocese.
Fr. Abel Njeru, the new Chairman for the Kwetu Home of Peace board of directors, stated that the Chapel is at the heart of Kwetu Home of Peace Drop-in Centre, just as Christ is at the heart of our ministries. "It is more than a building. It is a reminder to everyone of who we are and what we stand for." Fr Abel said.
Excited for Sunday school
As John Chege, a 14-year boy from our Centre, says, "Sunday school is something I can't wait for each week. I get to see all my friends, laugh, play and learn about Jesus! The stories that are told are so exciting and I love learning about Jesus and all the things he did. He is my Superhero! And gone are the days when ugly weather could lead to cancellation of Sunday service."
Chapel layout and elements of significance
The Chapel layout is juxtaposed, with the spire and entrance centered along the length of the building and spilling out to the courtyard, which functions as an outdoor communal area.
The courtyard connects the Chapel to other elements of the Centre, the library, the administration block, and the parking lot, completing the public domain renewal as envisaged by the Centre's 2014 master plan.
Elements of significance have been incorporated into the building. The stained-glass window on the front-right side of the chapel depicts the wise men's visit. The beautiful picture on the window essentially tells of the homage of these "Magi" to the one who was born king of the Jews.
The back-right window represents important milestones in Jesus' life. A large window shows Joseph welcoming baby Jesus into his open arms. Each window reminds us that God loves children and welcomes anyone with pain and suffering.
Thanking project contributors
Sr. Janerose Nyongesa, thanked all those who contributed their generous gifts towards the chapel project. "We are thrilled to have your support. Through your donation, we have been able to accomplish our chapel project and continue working towards rescuing, rehabilitating, and reintegrating street children. You truly make a difference for us, and we are extremely grateful! It is your continued support that sustains our mission and makes all the difference."
Sr. Janerose, the director of Kwetu Home of Peace, continued by saying, "with this new chapel, we will be able to provide for these children in a much better way. There will be no more interruptions or cancellations of the worship services due to bad weather. The cold and hot weather will be less of an issue, and quite simply, an indoor building with seats and proper facilities will mean so much for the children. They will feel so much more wanted!"
The impact of this new building
Talking about the impact of the new building, Sr. Teresa Makau, the council member of the Assumption Sisters of Eldoret, said that the chapel is also a standing representation of Kwetu partnerships. "By helping us build this Chapel, you've not only done a big favor towards our children, but you've also supported the entire Kwetu Home of Peace.